There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting around

Today was just one of those days.

The wife had to be at the UC Davis Medical Center pre-op room in the main hospital at 6:30 a.m. She's not a morning person. We got there at 6:40 a.m. I drove.

I'd like to say it hurt to put aside my transitarian dedication to leaving the car at home and relying instead on Sacramento Regional Transit. But it didn't.

By noon, the wife was back in her bed at home, the surgery declared a piece of cake -- images of slices and knives and party hats. Final word on whether all of the cancer was removed this time won't arrive until next Thursday.

At 12:37, I was standing at my bus stop waiting for the No. 82. I had a 2 p.m. appointment with the opthalmology clinic back at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Here was an example of when the bus is actually a good thing. I have tried to drive with my eyes dilated. It's torture. Obviously, the wife couldn't drive me, and the kid was caring for the wife. The bus was a perfect option.

Which brings me to an odd lesson. Every time I've taken transit to the Medical Center, I've taken the bus to 65th Street and then the train down to 39th. From there, you can either wait for the hospital shuttle or take a short walk to the campus.

It wasn't until I was leaving the Ellison Building at 48th and Y streets after my appointment that it occurred to me that I didn't have to walk all the way to 39th and R. There's a light rail stop on 48th Street. Duh!

Of course, no good fortune goes unrewarded. I walked to the station and arrived just in time to see an inbound train arrive and depart. And I waited. And waited. And waited.

And then I watched another inbound train arrive and depart the station.

Of course, the only way to get the outbound trains to start running again in a situation like this is to call 321-BUSS. By the time you get a live person on the phone, the faint headlight of the train will be just visible in the distance. And so it was.

Which leaves the final puzzle: At each of the light rail stations I visited today, RT had set up signs with notices about the new fares. Each was chained to a nearby structure.

I suppose experience has taught RT that everything not tied down will walk away. After January 1, those people chained to transit will still be there. But what about those who have a choice?

1 comment:

Gold Line Controller said...

If you were waiting at 48th St for the outbound train at around 330p that didn't arrive, you can thank the Fire Department's Truck crossing the O St red light with a train approaching. I lost that train, and the train behind it became 19m late. My inbound trains were on time though...